If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, you probably feel tired throughout the day and might be tempted to take a quick nap. Many studies suggest that napping can improve memory, help you feel more energized, and reduce stress levels. Unfortunately, these health benefits do not necessarily extend to people who suffer from a sleep disorder. Recent studies indicate that napping can worsen sleep apnea symptoms and inadvertently exacerbate the condition.
While you should speak with your doctor before changing your sleep schedule, here are some simple guidelines to follow if you suffer from sleep apnea and think about taking a nap.
Napping and Sleep Apnea
If you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, it’s best to forgo that afternoon power nap. The primary reason why naps aren’t recommended for sleep apnea patients is that they make it harder to embrace continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment.
If you have sleep apnea, you must wear your CPAP mask any time you sleep, including for quick power naps. Even if you’re just resting your head for a moment, you may experience disruptive, dangerous apneas without your CPAP machine. In addition, it’s crucial for those who are new to CPAP therapy to avoid daytime naps. This is because napping reduces your sleep debt and can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night. In most cases, reduced sleep debt is a good thing. But for sleep apnea patients, it’s best to avoid naps so that you feel sleepier at bedtime. In addition, CPAP masks can be uncomfortable for first-time users. The idea is, the more tired you are, the easier it will be to fall asleep with your CPAP equipment.
All that said, if you must take a nap, try to limit it to earlier in the day (before 3 pm), always wear your CPAP, and try not to sleep for more than 20 or 30 minutes. Shorter naps don’t allow you to enter the deeper phases of sleep and can help you avoid that post-nap, groggy feeling.
How We Can Help
If you’re struggling with daytime sleepiness due to sleep apnea, it’s important to reach out to a sleep specialist for treatment. CPAP therapy is highly effective in most cases and can even diminish sleep apnea symptoms with consistent use.
At Advanced Homecare, we offer a myriad of CPAP machines, masks, and supplies to ensure you get a better night’s sleep. Contact us today to learn more about our CPAP products and services.